Only thing low this summer seems to be resin prices
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Only thing low this summer seems to be resin prices

Jul 15, 2023

If there's one word that could point to the central theme in resin prices this year, it's "lower." As in lower demand and lower prices for commodity thermoplastics, engineering resins and recycled material.

PN's Frank Esposito reports one Midwest buyer described regional demand for engineering resins as "lackluster."

Polystyrene, polypropylene, PET bottle resin, polyethylene and PVC prices have all been falling through the summer, reflecting a combination of lower demand and lower feedstock costs. That has some buyers buying up stock while prices are down.

"While domestic demand for PP has improved from previous months ... it seems to be more a function of buyers not wanting to miss out at these price points than a need for material because of strong consumer demand into big- box retailers," New York-based PP supplier Blue Clover LLC said earlier this summer.

Lower virgin resin prices mean that prices have also dropped for recycled plastics. PN's Bridget Janis reports that both high density PE and recycled PET prices have dropped recently.

"There is a huge preference for cheap, amply available, high-quality virgin resin," said Gareth Lamb, a PET resin and recycling analyst at Czarnikow Group Ltd.

Plastics show up everywhere at world-level cycling events, from water bottles to helmets to carbon-fiber bike frames.

Italian materials company RadiciGroup is part of an effort that will help make sure nylon used at the upcoming cycling world championships will make its way back into future bike parts.

Staff at the Aug. 3-13 event in Scotland will wear special vests — also called bibs — identifying them as judges, photographers, volunteers and other officials. Radici is supplying nylon yarn for the vests.

Once the events are over, the vests will be recycled into X-Elite handguards for mountain bikes by bike parts maker Acerbis, Radici said in a news release.

"The project is a concrete example of the circular economy at work, allowing 100 percent of the materials used to be recovered," the company said.

Someone must prefer paper straws over plastic. Matrix Pack North America, a maker of compostable plastic straws and paper straws, will spend nearly $48 million to build a 144-employee plant in Boone County, Ky., on a new paper straw manufacturing plant.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced that construction on the 100,000-square-foot plant will begin this year with it expected to begin production in 2024.

Matrix Pack North America was created in 2022 through a partnership of Crescent Paper Tube, Greece-based straw maker Matrix Pack SA and Pacific Paper Straw to "become one of the nation's leading green paper products manufacturers."

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